The Obama administration is pushing China to implement international sanctions against Iran and North Korea as it seeks Chinese advice on how to engage the two countries over their nuclear programs.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Monday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to stress the importance of the sanctions in bringing Iran and North Korea back to separate, stalled nuclear negotiations. At the same time, she sought China’s opinion on other ways to coax them into talks, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
They discussed “Chinese ideas on how to successfully engage both countries” and how to implement sanctions, he said.
China maintains strong ties with both Iran and North Korea and has been resistant to sanctions on either.
Earlier this month the Chinese postponed a planned visit to Beijing by a senior American official, Robert Einhorn, to discuss sanctions implementation. Crowley said Einhorn’s trip has now been rescheduled for next week.
Clinton’s meeting came ahead of talks this week between President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao are expected to meet at the G-20 summit in South Korea in November and preparations are now under way for Hu to visit the United States in the coming months.